Your voices were heard loud and clear, comedians of Canada.
Just For Laughs announced Wednesday that their impending takeover of the Canada Laughs channel of SiriusXM radio will now be called Just For Laughs Canada, “and it will showcase 100 percent Canadian content.”
Bruce Hills, JFL’s president, released the statement after speaking with Sandra Battaglini from the Canadian Association of Stand-up Comedians (CASC). CASC had protested the station takeover, as comedians stood to lose a major source of income from royalty payments whenever their stand-up album tracks get played on the radio. CASC also held a public Town Hall on Tuesday in Toronto that received coverage from the CBC.
JFL’s revised strategy for its SiriusXM channel (Ch. 168) also will include programming content by Canadian artists “independent of the Just For Laughs catalogue” (the channel had programmed predominately old JFL Gala sets over the past week) and continue to pay them royalties.
“We’ve listened carefully to the concerns of Canadian artists and regret the stress we have caused the comedy community,” Hill said. “We are invested in the growth of Canada’s comedy industry and are working to include even more Canadian talent in all our initiatives. To that end, we will continue to engage directly with the industry and work with CASC to strengthen and advance Canadian comedy.”
“Our partnership with Just For Laughs Canada provides an opportunity to bring Canada’s comedic talent to a larger audience in Canada and the United States,” said John Lewis, senior vice president of programming and operations for SiriusXM Canada. “We understand the importance our platform has to comedians in Canada, and along with Just For Laughs, we will continue to work closely with that community to ensure its success.”
CASC responded in kind, noting that while Ben Miner would continue programming the station’s playlist, it’d now be overseen by JFL.
“CASC congratulates our Members, and other Canadian comedians from across the country and abroad, for uniting to convey a strong message to industry stakeholders that inspired positive action that will benefit Canadian comedians for years to come.”